Feedback on Western position?
 
 

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Feedback on Western position?

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  • Are more core muscles used to ride english or western'
  • Horse wont ride western

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    06-04-2012, 12:47 AM
  #1
Foal
Feedback on Western position?

My daughter is taking English lessons, but also gets a chance to ride Western saddle at the place where she volunteers. She doesn't get much / any instruction there.

She got to participate in their fun show today. This pony is new to the stables, and she was told not to insist if the pony didn't want to do the cup picking activity.

My daughter would like to ask you guys for any tips on her Western position. She was told that she's "Riding English in a Western saddle" but she didn't receive any other feedback on how to improve.

Thanks!

     
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    06-04-2012, 12:49 AM
  #2
Super Moderator
That video is set to private...
     
    06-04-2012, 12:52 AM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallaby    
That video is set to private...
I just fixed that. I hope.
Wallaby likes this.
     
    06-04-2012, 01:09 AM
  #4
Super Moderator
That little girl is a natural! I would not want her to feel bad about her seat, because she has a dandy little English seat. She rides better than many adults. She sits up pretty nicely, stays centered laterally very well, has a nicely following hand, look up and has a steady lower leg.

The only thing I can see is that due to being a bit far forward, (maybe sitting on her peepee a bit too much) she has lost some of her strength. ON a pony like that, and her being a wee thing like she is, she needs the strength that comes from her core. She can only access this by sitting up really straight, not tipping forward, engaging the core muscles, (a bit like pushing a BM out), and not letting the pony tip her forward with a yank on the rein.

Honestly, she has the makings of a really good rider!
     
    06-04-2012, 01:10 AM
  #5
Showing
Well, that's a very forward little pony, isn't it? LOL. They make an adorable pair.

I see what those other folks meant by "riding english in a western saddle". That basically means that she has her stirrups up relatively short and she's actually riding with proper position. Most western riders have some level of chair seat, ranging from slight to severe. Whether that's a good thing or not is a constant subject of debate.

I really don't see anything wrong with her position. The thing about western riding, unless she plans to show in western horsemanship classes, then the proper position for her will be the one that she's most comfortable and most secure with.

And truthfully? If she plans to primarily ride english and just do western more for fun, I wouldn't go about trying to change her position. If she was taught this early in the game to adopt a more "western" position, then her proper english position would suffer.

She sits a horse well and she looked good riding a pony that doesn't appear to be very easy to ride .
bsms, QHriderKE, RoosHuman and 2 others like this.
     
    06-04-2012, 09:02 AM
  #6
Trained
No time for a long post, which is probably a good thing...but I often ride 'English' in a western saddle. Most horses won't care, but here are a few differences I've found that SOME horses notice:

1 - Speed. Lots of western horses are used to someone riding "on their jeans pockets", and interpret a more forward seat as "he wants to go faster".

2 - Leg contact. With my western saddle, my lower leg contacts the horse when cuing. Many western riders - not all - only use lower leg contact for cueing the horse. Two of my horses interpreted having the leg wrapped more around the horse as "go faster" or "why won't he stop bugging me". Once they got used to it, they just think, "It is bsms...that is how he rides...don't worry". My mare, OTOH, prefers it.

3 - Reins. As a ROT, most western riders use the reins for cueing and have slack in them the rest of the time. English riders tend to want the horse 'on the bit' and have light contact all the time. I often ride with slack reins attached to a rope sidepull halter, which is more western. Some horses get irritated if a rider tries to keep contact, since they feel it is unneeded messing with their mouth. My mare prefers it most of the time.

The pictures below are of an older style of western riding (think 1900), but it may make some of the differences more obvious:



     
    06-04-2012, 11:09 AM
  #7
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
That little girl is a natural! I would not want her to feel bad about her seat, because she has a dandy little English seat. She rides better than many adults. She sits up pretty nicely, stays centered laterally very well, has a nicely following hand, look up and has a steady lower leg.

The only thing I can see is that due to being a bit far forward, (maybe sitting on her peepee a bit too much) she has lost some of her strength. ON a pony like that, and her being a wee thing like she is, she needs the strength that comes from her core. She can only access this by sitting up really straight, not tipping forward, engaging the core muscles, (a bit like pushing a BM out), and not letting the pony tip her forward with a yank on the rein.

Honestly, she has the makings of a really good rider!
Thank you! So are you saying she can ride in a Western saddle while keeping in mind what she's been learning in her English lessons and it won't make her position acceptable for the Western style? That's a reassuring.
     
    06-04-2012, 11:25 AM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs    
Well, that's a very forward little pony, isn't it? LOL. They make an adorable pair.
Thanks! What exactly is meant by "a forward pony"?

Quote:
I see what those other folks meant by "riding english in a western saddle". That basically means that she has her stirrups up relatively short and she's actually riding with proper position. Most western riders have some level of chair seat, ranging from slight to severe. Whether that's a good thing or not is a constant subject of debate.
The stirrups weren't even up to her, her Western place set them up.


Quote:
I really don't see anything wrong with her position. The thing about western riding, unless she plans to show in western horsemanship classes, then the proper position for her will be the one that she's most comfortable and most secure with.
That's great. She doesn't plan on showing western. Though someone told her at one point, that really good English riders become really good Western riders, and can ride both. Is there any truth to this?

She was expecting a stellar transition, and was a bit disappointed that she didn't magically transform into a great western rider after taking some English lessons. I reminded her that first of all, she wasn't (yet) a great English rider, but still a novice, and second of all, such a transition would still require proper instruction. She does want to ride both "well."


Quote:
And truthfully? If she plans to primarily ride english and just do western more for fun, I wouldn't go about trying to change her position. If she was taught this early in the game to adopt a more "western" position, then her proper english position would suffer.

That's her plan for now. I also wondered whether changing her position from saddle to saddle would interfere with her form at this stage. I remember when I played tennis at her age, my coach wouldn't allow us to play table tennis or badminton, as not to ruin our technique.

Quote:
She sits a horse well and she looked good riding a pony that doesn't appear to be very easy to ride .
When my husband watched the video of her riding, he said, "Wow, she can get the horse walking sideways so well!"
     
    06-04-2012, 11:39 AM
  #9
Showing
A forward pony is a pony that is very forward moving, they move at a pretty good speed and are easy to get going, as opposed to a lazy or sluggish horse.

There's nothing wrong with her stirrup length, I actually prefer shorter stirrups myself, but standard western riding has the stirrups longer, where the leg is almost just hanging off the side with very little contact in the stirrups.

A good rider is a good rider, regardless of discipline. However, english riders who have had proper instruction almost always have more proper "position" than western riders; their feet are under their hips where they should be instead of slung out in front of their body.

She has a ton of potential so tell her not to get discouraged or disappointed in herself, it will just take time and I can already see that she's going to be one heck of a good rider when she has a bit more experience. Changing tack can be very difficult; I bought an english saddle for the heck of it when I was a teenager and even though I had been riding all my life and was a very good western rider, I felt and looked completely unbalanced and almost out of control in that english saddle.

She's already a very good rider for her experience level. She'll be a great one soon enough .
tinyliny likes this.
     
    06-04-2012, 11:42 AM
  #10
Foal
Thank you! These are more in depth differences, than the position, right? Something that she can get better with experience?

Is it something that one can fairly easily adjust on a horse by horse basis (with experience)?

The photos do really show a difference in position. According to the quote in your siggy: would this also mean that if she's more comfortable sitting "English", that would be okay as well?


Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
No time for a long post, which is probably a good thing...but I often ride 'English' in a western saddle. Most horses won't care, but here are a few differences I've found that SOME horses notice:

1 - Speed. Lots of western horses are used to someone riding "on their jeans pockets", and interpret a more forward seat as "he wants to go faster".

2 - Leg contact. With my western saddle, my lower leg contacts the horse when cuing. Many western riders - not all - only use lower leg contact for cueing the horse. Two of my horses interpreted having the leg wrapped more around the horse as "go faster" or "why won't he stop bugging me". Once they got used to it, they just think, "It is bsms...that is how he rides...don't worry". My mare, OTOH, prefers it.

3 - Reins. As a ROT, most western riders use the reins for cueing and have slack in them the rest of the time. English riders tend to want the horse 'on the bit' and have light contact all the time. I often ride with slack reins attached to a rope sidepull halter, which is more western. Some horses get irritated if a rider tries to keep contact, since they feel it is unneeded messing with their mouth. My mare prefers it most of the time.

The pictures below are of an older style of western riding (think 1900), but it may make some of the differences more obvious:




     

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